View Full Version : Most intuitive program to model characters in?

10 October 2008, 03:45 AM
Hi everyone.. I'm new to these forums..but i've been around the site for quite a while..

I started 3D modeling at the age of 16 while i was in high school.. at first it was cars and video games.. but then i got introduced to Maya and I moved on to characters; with Very little success.. I animated some basic creatures like frogs and stuff..but they were no where as good as how i imagined them..

Any ways.. I moved on to engineering and I had to use programs like Autocad and solid works to make machines and then i animate them in Maya.. so modelling the techniques are different and the animations are pretty basic when compared to a character..

I am now 21 and all of my artisitic modelling skills are almost gone... I'm trying to make a Pink Panther in Maya and it seems like i'm working too hard..

Please, can some one tell me the most intuitive program(s) to use?

10 October 2008, 01:43 PM
It's not the program that matters so much as the person using it. It takes practice.

Now that's not to say that the tool is unimportant. If you asked me to create a character in Max I'd be screwed. Personally I enjoy using a program called Silo for organic modeling that will be smoothed/sub-d. It is a very efficient program and if you've used maya the control scheme is easy to pick up. It's strictly a modeling/sculpting program and the help documentation is straightforward and not overly wordy. It's very easy to pick up if you have experience with Maya. I actually work faster with Silo than Maya because of the easy hotkeys and tools it has built right in.

10 October 2008, 08:33 PM
just for the intuitive modelling part, I would recommend to look into programs like ZBrush or Mudbox, wich are great for free organic modeling, but these are just for modeling and painting and need some time to get used to the workflow.
But its the nearest thing you can get to realy sculpting naturaly with clay.

For animation, rendering, retopologising ... you would still need Max, Maya or similar programs.

10 October 2008, 02:04 AM
Thanks guys.. i'll check the respective websites

10 October 2008, 05:43 AM
Rule #1 of modeling: The programs all do the exact same thing. They all have the same functions and features (except ZBrush and Mudbox, but those are sculpting programs), just named different things, hidden in different places, and with different hoops to jump through. It depends what you're trying to model and for what purpose. ZBrush as a modeling program works well for being able to lay out a detailed model really fast, but don't expect it to win awards for technical implimentation. Still, if you just want to make the models for fun, I highly recommend it. :) I felt much the same way you do a few months ago and I got into working with ZBrush, and it turned me around. It got me into working with the forms and shapes in a way that suited my upside-down way of thinking and got me into understanding the 3D form a lot more. My modeling skills in other programs SOARED because of that. It's got a bit of a learning curve to it, but the tutorials at ZClassroom (free tutorials, even!) will help you figure stuff out in no time. In six days I gained proficiency with it.

Otherwise, don't sell yourself too short. Half the issue with modeling stuff is confidence. Once you know how to bevel, extrude, insert edge loops etc. in one program and have a working knowledge of about 80% of the modeling tools in it the rest is just believing in yourself. I'd say it doesn't hurt to have a strong reference image. ;) Even expert modelers like to have a series of drawings that act as their literal blueprints. Also, don't expect to pick everything up instantly by yourself. Anything that you want to be good at requires ample amounts of both time and money, and modeling is no exception. I found three tutorials that helped me out a lot. They can be found at the following URLs:

3DTotal - Swordmaster tutorial (Pick your platform!)
Note: Originally for 3DS Max. The Maya translation requires you to fill in a few interesting blanks, but is nontheless extremely helpful.

Digital Tutors - Plethora of good tutorials. I used the Next-Gen modeling one since I'm learning stuff for games, but there's a ton of good stuff here. Mostly for Maya

Gnomonology - Some of the best there are, but most of them aren't cheap. THIS one is free and will help you set up a good human figure for sculpting in ZBrush. It's one of my favorites!

I hope this was all helpful. :)

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